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How to talk right

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Message Paul Titterton
You think the Americans are gung ho? Britain has fought everyone I think. Let’s see…. the French for a hundred years, the Germans memorably, the Russians cold and hot, and it was us that burnt the White House. Even the Netherlands, not a country you would straight away consider a threat, but think of all the negative sayings in English like Dutch courage (drinking to get brave) going Dutch (cheapskate), talking Double Dutch (unintelligible) and Dutch Uncle who is a critical horror. These expressions did not just happen you know! It took a lot of war to invent such insults!

After developing ships capable of long ocean voyages,(built by the Scots) we branched out. We found new lands to conquer, new people to see off. We did for the Aboriginals on different continents, in different time zones and in different ways. We adapted our methods to suit the climate and the terrain. We invented new technologies when old ways were not working. We overcame more populous and powerful countries by using total war properly and getting them to fight each other. War was the mother of invention.

Now, who was often in the van? Yes, the Scots. I’d like to apologise for that and say that we were forced into it but we weren’t. It was often voluntary. To escape the poverty brought on by the English perhaps, but Ghandi would not have made that decision. Ghandi would have starved to death, rather than fight so why didn’t we?

Well, the Brits are clever at making a cause seem just and there is no better example of this than the present war and the present Blair. We are fighting in Iraq. Why? Well, the reason changes depending on the latest revelation. It is no longer that a threat to this country existed. His Scud missiles were about the same threat as a large slingshot, or an old V2 in terms of distance and the real threat from them was to Israel, which is more than capable of defending itself.

It is no longer that Saddam was trying to develop a bomb “but he wanted to”. The forgery of the documents detailing attempts to purchase Uranium had a hilarity about it that seemed from another era. Like Fidel’s beard falling out, or exploding cigars. “Please excuse Saddam from his science class as he had to be in Niger.” Signed Mrs Hussein (true).

It is no longer because he was evil. This is a dangerous argument to use and one that keeps backfiring, as it is so easy to point out that it was western weaponry that turned a local thug into a mass murderer. Iran must be confused. He killed a million of their people using massive amounts of weapons of limited destruction. The west did nothing to help. In fact, they made the situation worse by making good any shortfalls in Iraqi weaponry. The Iranians then reprocess Uranium and the international community’s roof falls in on them.

It seems to be, at present, that we are at war because we are British, you Saddam- loving-Saddam-lover. Any talk of peace is attacked as siding with the enemy, how dare you hate our troops etc. etc. This is an age old formula.

Britain has been actually worse than the States throughout history. This is a country, after all, that justified the Opium War. We forced a continent to buy our opium. Not to mention slaughtering the poor Chinese with superior weaponry. We now prosecute drug dealers for a piffling few kilos of heroin, yet we were dealing it by the shipload. Literally. We are responsible for the Golden Triangle. Not some evil Asian warlord. Us....Britain.

Imagine what Blair would have said then.

“Members of the House of Commons, I wish to draw your attention to the deceitful antics of the Chinese Government, (jeers) who are resisting the initiative of the East India Company.(Hurrahs). Now look, they are prepared to supply material support to the freedom loving people ..the ..ordinary….the common people of China. (Shouts of 'Hear Hear'). From memory, (waits.. knits brow).. the other side of the House (points to the Whigs), off the top of my head, (laughter) agreed with this policy when they were in power. (Shouts of 'Shame'). I… I know.. I really know..(waits..clenches fist)…that history will judge.. etc, etc.. .”

Blair was educated here in Scotland, at Fettes, in Edinburgh. Fettes, a private school, looking like it is straight out of a Hammer horror film, is hardly a mainstream, ordinary, example of education in Scotland. None the less, what a national embarrassment!

Are there other Blairs lurking there, upside down in the belfries?
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'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
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